So there were now Genesis 2 or Victoria 6 releases today, but we got a nice gift (those that bought/buy into the pro bundle), and the first one that I will probably actually use. There was an 8 hour sale of Stonemason’s City Ruins 3, which has already gone, but an even more awesome sale has taken its place. Anyone for some of Ron Deviney brush sets?
Just about everyone in the Poserverse knows and loves the Deviney range of Photoshop brushes. I’ve used these to create textures and postwork many of my images, and in that time I’ve only scratched the surface with the diversity of brush sets and the many different techniques that can be applied. I remember thinking when I was first starting out with DS that Rons brushes could turn anyone into an artist, and in my case it seems to have worked 😀
Anyway, DAZ describe this as a flash sale, so it probably won’t last long. If you’ve been itching to grab that set or three of brushes then now is the time. Also worth checking out is the massive new Dreamlight prop/environment bundle. even if you own one or two of these it would still be worth picking up on special – the total saving for the bundle is over $130.
Rumours of Genesis 2 have been bouncing around since December of 2012, just a year after the release of Victoria 5. Whether the quote from a 3D World promotion was correct at the time or not is not known. It prophesised the emergence of the sixth generation of figures and characters for 2013, which to many seems absurdly soon considering Genesis was only released at the end of 2011. Considering Victoria 4 and her gen 4 counterparts ran rampant for more than half a decade before the birth of Genesis, a two-year reign does seem on the short side.
The subject was quite for just over six months until the release of Gwen Hair, on the 13th of June, once again exploded the cat in the bag (that’s how the saying goes, right?). In the included features it lists Genesis 2 and Victoria 6. Whether this was an intentional slight or not is debatable, but since then several other products have come out with similar support, with the release of one character product (FW Candace) designed specifically for Genesis 2 being promptly removed.
A Member’s Club (PC) only Genesis 2/Victoria 6 preview thread (which I can’t directly link to for some reason) was created on the 11th of June but not made public till the 14th. The thread features renders by various DAZ published artists depicting Genesis 2, Victoria 6, and other related characters and products. Examining the images does yield some information about what we can expect. Character mesh appear to be more detailed, and flexing joints are more realistic. There is no other concrete information, but judging by the wording of some of the promo material and comments by some of the vendors has led to speculation that Genesis 2 characters will not share a common mesh. Whether Gen 6 products will be backwards compatible with Genesis is not known, and many are wondering if this indicates a return to the days of buying matching his and hers morph sets and the like.
I would love nothing more than to spruce up this thread with some fresh Gen 6 images, but alas the images posted on the member’s forum have yet to leak onto Google in any serious or obvious way. I feel compelled to play by the rules here, but in any case it should only be a matter of a day or two before we can expect a full press release and/or product release.
Generation 6 splits community
Sentiment and opinions are split between those are looking forward to seeing new advancements, those that are wary, and those that are out-and-out pessimistic. With Genesis being supported primarily by DAZ 3D, and only a very small pool of content creators selling on other stores working with the figure, the days of fresh Genesis content could be short indeed. Generation 4 figures, on the other hand, have remained popular with vendors servicing the other big DAZ/Poser stores like Renderosity and Runtime DNA.
Why exactly DAZ has decided to release Genesis 2 just two and a half years after Genesis is a head scratcher, but for it to gain a slice of the market, let alone own it, there would have to be some serious advances in technology. One suggestion is that it could be Poser compatible to a greater and more flexible extent than is currently possible with Genesis’s DSON plugin for Poser. Certainly since Poser’s adoption of Pixar’s OpenSubdiv, which was included in the last DS point release, this removes one obstacle. Of course, the two programs still work with two different weight mapping solutions… Specific inclusion of OpenSubdiv’s power into Genesis could be another reason for the release, but alone seems unlikely to generate a huge amount of interest.
Whatever the reasons DAZ has decided to spring this rather unexpectedly early Gen 6 on the community, some are already chalking this one up as another DAZ PR disaster, but only time will tell.
The tune has certainly changed over at The Plant Factory’s blog. Whether it is a sensible distillation of the overwhelmingly blood curdling response from the blog’s angry mob, and the probable torrent of emails, or whether it was the more mild-tempered feedback from pre-release adopters (or some combination of the two), but E-on has relaxed a number of the harsh feature restrictions.
Changes for The Plant Factory Pre-Release II
TPF Studio users will now enjoy full node and graph capabilities that were previously restricted only to Producer. Essentially this means that users of Studio can now produce the same content they would be able to with the Producer version.
Plant Factory Designer replaces Plant Factory for Vue
With all the features of the previously announced PFfV, Designer users will now be able to export static objects as FPX, OBJ, and 3DS formats.
Pre-Release II will be available on Monday, 10th of June and the new price will be $595 for one week after release – still a discount of $400.
A move in the right direction
E-on have undoubtedly won many users with their alterations. Many will be happy that they no longer have to fork out almost $1500 for a product they spent months reading about with every teasing post. Being able to settle with a fully featured TPF, just without the fancy compositing/rendering capabilities, for $995 (or $396 if you grab it now) will settle a lot of bad blood. For some, the final price tag will still be much too high, which I tend to agree with, especially considering that objects created with any version of TPF cannot be distributed outside Cornucopia 3D. Given the price of the software one can still only ask, WTF?
In a post on the blog, one responder pointed out that free redistribution of TPF products would be commercial suicide for e-on. If people could just go out and buy plants from any old back alley brokerage, then why would anyone need to buy the software in the first place? How would e-on be compensated for their fabulous software development?
Umm… are we serious here? This sort of thinking plays right into the hands of e-on, and simply just doesn’t fly. Clients and content consumers are always hungry for new varieties and unique content. Artists always want/need to create new from scratch. If free distribution of content killed sales of content creation software then why is there so much software out there, and why are these suicidal developers constantly updating it?
E-on are certainly heading in the right direction here, but are they more concerned with creating tools (to sell at enormous cost – think upgrades here too people), or with establishing themselves as a content distribution service which? If the latter, it would be greatly appreciated if they dropped the price of such software.
As someone who was just starting out with LightWave at the time Iron Sky was going to the cinema, it was quite motivational knowing that the production had relied quite heavily on the software, as have many film and television productions on a huge range of budgets. After watching the hilarious, low budget Star Trek parody, Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (some years after it first appeared), I immediately set to Googling and uncovered the first hints of another project by the same crew underway, Iron Sky. The film was still some way off back at the end of 2008, and even though moon Nazis in clunky retro space craft instantly appealed to me, it fell off my cluttered radar. Perhaps, if it wasn’t for my interest in LW I might have again ended up missing Iron Sky for years after release.
Since its cinema debut the quirky sci-fi comedy has only growing in popularity (and notoriety), as any true cult hit should, with the trailer ticking up over 12.7 million views on YouTube. With this continued interest a sequel, Iron Sky: The Coming Race, is now in preproduction and looking for backers on Indigogo to fund the production of a script and promo reel. Rewards include exclusive shirts, script drafts, script development invites, a speaking part in the promo, and in this day of social media a very enticing opportunity to view and share the promo before it is officially handed over to the media.
So for those who aren’t familiar with Iron Sky, the films basic premise revolves around an American astronaut who is captured by Moon Nazis, who having fled Earth at the end of WWII, have been assembling an armada of massive, clunky era inspired war ships. Ensue hilarity and jaw dropping effects and action scenes.
VFX To The Indie Producers
The film’s spectacular visual effects are a testament to the power of CGI methods to transform vision to reality, and increasingly, on a tight budget. Gone are the days where VFX was the sole domain of the mega financed film, with increasingly small budget productions making heavy use of CGI. Though Iron Sky’s 10 million is not to be sniffed at, its place as a VFX heavy sci-fi still place it very much on the low scale of funding. Much of the movie’s 800 + shots were done against green screen and incorporated elements produced with LightWave, Maya, and Nuke. I won’t delve into how LightWave saved the day for the production, but you can read further details in an article published at LightWave3D.com
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Details are light at this point, but the campaign introduction at Indiegogo implicates North Korea in the plot, which is stated to be darker and MORE EPIC. All we really know is that the writing team from the first film is back, as are some of the VFX crew and actors. And yeah, Laibach is back to score the movie again. Who’s Laibach? Well, that’s all part of a whole other world that may not be familiar to many Iron Sky fans. That is to say I assume a good number of IS fans have little or no idea about this strange music history footnote thing called industrial music – go check it out. Follow the bread crumbs out from Laibach (I don’t suggest doing it the other way around).
Anyway, we aren’t here to talk about vague and dark places in music (unless you want to?). So we know a pile of people are coming back from IS, both on and off camera – meaning we know it is going to be well scored, and packed with eye-popping levels of visual candy. We know that the producers are looking for 150 000 thousand preproduction dollars. So far the Indigogo campaign has many times eclipsed the previous failed 2011 campaign for Iron Sky, and is on track to smash the current goal.
A final draft of the script is to be completed by the end of 2014, with a first draft ready by the end of this year. The promo reel is targeted for release at Cannes film festival 2014, with shooting to be done in 2015 with an estimated budget of 15 million dollars to realise “the epic scale of the story”.
For me, 2015 still feels so far away for my next fix of comedic totalitarian fuelled space mayhem, but this time around there will be no dropping off the radar. This one is staying locked on. If you haven’t seen the first movie, do yourself a favour and go pick it up right now, and then you too can wait in excited anticipation for the end of 2015, or 16, or whenever it will be released.
And How Can I Forget The Iron Sky CGI Reel?
Not sure, but I almost did. It is amazing how much of the movie is shot against green screen. All-in-all there were 800 VFX shots – which is about half the movie! That’s a lot of CGI for an indie film.